millie

-book illustration-

The Goddess, who later christens herself "Millie," is one of the most interesting characters in the Chrestomanci series, so I simply had to do an illustration of her for this collection. She is headstrong, powerful, and matter-of-fact yet desires nothing more than to travel to Christopher's universe to live a simple life and (most importantly) attend a boarding school. This desire, coupled by learning what her fate is to be in her own universe, leads her to take a drastic decision which puts her life, as well as the lives many others, in mortal danger.

"Millie" - Graphite pencil and digital.

"Millie" - Graphite pencil and digital.

Her world seems to take influences from south Asian cultures, though some other descriptions also put in mind a hint of eastern European influences as well. For the colors, patterns, and style of clothing and jewelry, I researched fashions from India, Saudi Arabia, and the Caucasus region. I initially planned on the artwork to be in black and white, so I drew it with pencil. But I realized then what fun it would be to add the riot of color which the scene suggests, and did so using Photoshop. The success of the color on this artwork inspired me to follow suit for the other artworks made for this book. 


Excerpt from The Lives of Christopher Chant, by Dianna Wynne Jones:

Christopher's eyes were adjusting. If he peered hard at the corner where the voice came from, he could see someone about the same size as he was, sitting on what seemed to be a pile of cushions, and pick out the white hump of the cat clutched in the person's arms. He took a step forward to see better.

"Stay where you are," said the Goddess, "or I'll call down fire to blast you!"

Christopher, much to his surprise, found he could not move from the spot. He shuffled to make sure. It was as if his bare soles were fastened to the tiles with strong rubbery glue. While he shuffled, his eyes started working properly. The Goddess was a girl with a round, ordinary face and long mouse-colored hair. She was wearing a sleeveless rust-brown robe and rather a lot of turquoise jewelry including at least twenty bracelets and a little turquoise-studded coronet. She looked a bit younger than he was - much too young to be able to fasten someone's feet to the floor. Christopher was impressed. "How did you do it?" he said.